On July 31, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) announced reduction in the prices of various petroleum products. The price of kerosene oil was reduced by Rs. 1.47, HBOC by Rs. 1.77 and the premier petrol by Rs 1.67. Surprisingly, the relief effected is much less than the fall in price of crude oil in international market. Besides, the kerosene oil, the household fuel of the extremely poor, has been maintained at almost the same price as that of the car fuel, the premier petrol. The rationale for this unjustified parallel given by the OGRA is that if they reduce the rate of kerosene oil, the companies will start mixing it with the petrol in order to make unlawful gains. Compare that with India where the 'fuel of the poor' is far, far cheaper than other fuel types because the Government of India also offers a subsidy on it. In Pakistan, instead of stemming the misuse of kerosene oil by unscrupulous oil companies, the government has raised its rate to the level of petrol without realizing that millions of poor are shall be severely affected by their convoluted logic. Perhaps the extra taxes being conveniently accrued from this source have dampened their empathy for the poor. -QAZI SHAFQAT HUSSAIN, Hyderabad, via e-mail, August 6.